FIG Looks for Uptick

May 2009
FIG Looks for Uptick

Market organizers at Fashion Industry Gallery, slated for June 4 to 6 in the downtown Arts District, are anticipatinga rebound.


"We're seeing that people are coming back in June and buying again, and one of the reasons is they let inventory go to zero," said John Sughrue, a principal in FIG.


Because about 30 percent of buyers skipped the March market due to its overlap with spring break in the region and fears about the economy, many will need to place fall ordersin June, he said.


"It's getting better, but it's tough to sustain a business on the new norm, which is 30 percent down," he reflected. We’llweather the storm."


The boutique mart specializes in contemporary, bridge, urban men's and trendy kids' fashions and has a strong assortment ofaccessories.


FIG hosts 45 permanent showrooms, plus the temporary Shop show in 70,000 square feet spread across two levels.


FIG will present its customary Thursday evening cocktail party June 4, with showrooms open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the three-day show. A free shuttle will run between FIGand the World Trade Center, and FIG showrooms will be open by appointment June 3 and 7.


One of Sughrue's strategies to build FIG's revenue is to promote the loftlike space for special events, such as art shows and private parties.


"It's helped a lot," Sughrue said. "We are committed to the [wholesale] business and to building a venue. We can do fashionand art - they are affinity businesses."


FIG's next big event begins with the D Art Slam May 29 to 31, a for-profit juried show of works by 150 local artists, which is being coproduced with the glossy city journal D magazine.


"It's a celebration of the emerging art community here," Sughrue explained. ''There is a real dynamic art scene, but mostof these artists don't have representation. This is an opportunityto get it in front of the public, and we anticipate a couple ofthousand people."


- Holly Haber